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Why Cheap Office Chairs are a False Economy

Why Cheap Office Chairs are a False Economy
January 5, 2015 gnuworld

Broken office chairs

The problem with cheap, poorly made office chairs is that when you first sit in them, they feel just great. They may even look great. It’s only once you’ve been using this type of chair for days on end that you’ll realise how uncomfortable you are – and it could be weeks before you develop back ache, stiff shoulder muscles and aching wrists.

You’ll know for certain that you’ve made a mistake after a year, when the chair looks terrible, no longer functions properly and has to be replaced. A well-made office chair, on the other hand, is an investment that will last you several years.

Problems with cheap office chairs

Problems with badly made office chairs, which make them much less of a bargain than they might first appear, include:

  • incorrectly shaped backrests that don’t provide proper support and don’t account for the natural S-shaped curvature of the spine
  • armrests that don’t allow you to keep your lower arms and wrists at the appropriate angle, leading to unnecessary strain
  • seating that consists of cheap foam pads, which quickly flatten out with use and no longer provide sufficient cushioning
  • poor manufacturing standards, with components that break or don’t work; examples are height adjustment levers that get stuck, arms that break, wobbly wheels and seat backs that “wiggle” excessively whenever you shift position
  • low-quality upholstery fabric that’s easily damaged or poor-quality leather, which is uncomfortable to sit on and prone to unsightly cracking.

What to look for in an office chair

The first thing to look for when buying an office chair is a decent guarantee. If a chair is guaranteed for a period of two years or longer, it’s a sign that the manufacturer has faith in its durability.

An ergonomic design that will provide comfort and the correct support for your body is an obvious priority. Features to look for include contoured backrests for support of the lower back and seating with rounded drop-down edges to reduce pressure on the back of the legs.

It’s also important for various aspects of an office chair to be adjustable so you can alter the chair to suit your height and the height of your desk. Adjustable seat height is vital – a chair that’s either too high or too low will never be comfortable and may result in a range of health issues, from back ache to poor circulation in the lower legs.

It’s also important to look for adjustable backrest tilt and tension, and adjustable-height armrests. Ideally, you should be able to position the armrests so that your lower arms can rest in line with the surface of your desk and keyboard, and you don’t have to keep your wrists in a flexed position as you work. This prevents unnecessary strain on both the wrists and shoulders.

Last but not least, make sure that the chair moves easily, with well-designed castors and proper swivelling function.

K-Mark is a reputable South African office chair supplier that offers reliable advice and high-quality office chairs with extended warrantees.


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